back to article How to get a job in Australia

Here in The Register's antipodean eyrie, we have good economic news! Australia skipped the worst of the GFC and avoided a recession. Annual growth remains close to three per cent and unemployment hovers near five per cent. We gather things aren't so good elsewhere. Brits seem to be grumbling about a double dip recession and …

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I've heard...

....it's really boring living there.

Out of the frying pan.....

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What the?

I... just don't know where to start?

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Re: I've heard...

Yes, it's relatively boring. I much preferred my years in South Africa doing IT - back here in Australia it's just a tad... bland.

Now, with the dissing of my own homeland and exposing myself as horribly un-patriotic all out of the way; I have to say, if you want a job over here, just head for the mines, good pay and they keep you so busy you don't care that you're not out partying.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've heard...

'it's really boring living there'

I've heard that about Perth and Adelaide* but Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane are all pretty fun places. Sydney is similar to London (i.e. lots to do, lots to eat, but it's expensive and you might get burgled or mugged from time to time) but has the advantages that

a) literally hundreds of good, relatively clean beaches

b) lots of sunshine

c) not being a complete s***hole.

As for Brisbane, I'd rather spend my weekends scuba diving in the great barrier reef than paddling at Southend thank you very much.

*queue lots of hurst feeling in 3, 2, 1...

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Pint

Re: I've heard...

I'm trying to figure out if you're an Aussie trying to turn people away to save your own job, or a potential winging Pom who'd complain that Australia isn't like the UK you know and love with warm beer and football hooligans.

Note to self - refrain from feeding the trolls.

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Re: I've heard...

>....it's really boring living there.

Boring? When every living creature can bite you and kill you

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Re: I've heard...

Been there, loved it. Spent some time in Sydney, and really liked the place (people, climate, food, surroundings).

If you find Oz boring, can I have your helping?

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Stop

@Paul L Daniels - - Re: I've heard... Yes.s but...

..,the delicate petals from the UK would just melt in the Pilbara heat. They'd not even have the energy to read El Reg let alone post to it!

;-)

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Re: I've heard...

Actually it's very dangerous here

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNEeq5qGh8I

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Re: @Paul L Daniels - - I've heard... Yes.s but...

Hmm - are there any good IT jobs to be had in the Pilbara, though? If so, let me know- I'm less than 500 miles away.

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Silver badge

There are other problems, too

For example it's impossible to receive proper television down there as all the relevant satellites are below the horizon.

BTW, the US is also searching for highly skilled workers, as this actual add posted to the "career" wall at a technical university in Germany shows:

http://casandro.dyndns.org/tim/bad_job.png

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Re: There are other problems, too

@Christian Berger: Nah ... if you consider THIS as a problem you should never waste a thought on going abroad as an expat. Cheers from Melbourne/Viele Gruesse aus Melbourne, Michael

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http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/climate-change-and-the-end-of-australia-20111003?print=true

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Just have to be careful of the dropbears.

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Anonymous Coward

The best thing about the tour there is the "Warning - Drop Bears" signs!

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Thanks

Good article, bookmarked for reference.

I'd be interested in similar articles about working in New Zealand, the USA, Hong Kong, etc.

I was recently offered a job in the USA and only then found out that I wasn't eligible for a visa, even with a sponsoring company, as my further education wasn't quite sufficient. Oops.

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Happy

Re: Thanks

I am an Expat Brit living in Darwin on a regional skilled migration visa. This grants permanent residency, so is certanly worth looking at if you are willing to go to places in Oz other than the major metropolitan areas. Darwin is quirky and a long way from anywhere, but is in the tropics so benefits from hot weather all year.

Regarding Oz vs the US. The US probably pays more, but we get a decent holiday entitlement here. As I understand it, the US is the only Western economy with zero legal leave entitlement and most USians only get about 12 days a year off. Cost of living is high here, but the lifestyle more than makes up for it.

I am glad I made the move and have absolutely no intention of going back to the UK.

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"...plus a health system that isn't entirely alien to Brits and can look generous to North Americans."

I guess you have never been to Canada, know nothing about it, and just make the same broad assumptions that Canada must be like the USA in every respect.

Please educate yourself before sounding ignorant.

As someone who has had to use the Canadian health care system I can confirm that it is NOTHING like the American health care...and closure to the NHS.

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Anonymous Coward

What? NOW you're telling me?

I just landed *knock on wood* a job here provided I can find a place to stay. Which, in a market infested with middlemen and brokers-of-middlemen and so on, several layers deep, is no picknic, let me tell you. Well, I'spose down under might have a chance yet; we'll know in a week.

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Pint

Depending on the city Australia can be a great place to live, the big two, Melbourne and Sydney are just like most major cosmopolitan cities around the world, good night life, good services, good food, good sports, so-so public transport, etc. Perth and Adelaide are a bit behind the times, and Adelaide has a detestable road system that was designed by a drunk monkey with bugger all public transport, but still over-all nice places. I can't speak to Brisbane as I've never been there.

On the subject of "imported workers", it's less of an issue for IT workers, the main fuss is about importing 1700 workers for a mining project, untrained or minimally trained foreign workers, it's understandable people are fairly ticked off about that, since if they are untrained why not hire locals and train them?

Most highly skilled professionals are welcome, over the last decade a large number of doctors have been "imported" into regional areas and have been welcomed with open arms for example.

The cost of general living is fairly high though, so let that be a warning, and in some cases disgustingly high, with a "nice beach tax" thrown on by international companies without any real justification (for a quick example, check the prices on Steam AU and then US, both are in USD, no taxes or extras, yet the AU price is almost triple, that's very common in tech/entertainment purchases), so keep that in mind.

So anyone interested in coming Down Under, please give it a look, it's a great place to live, just please watch out for the drop bears

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@tkioz -- Perchance, do you work for the Australian Tourist Commission?

Sounds like it.

You forgot to mention that one will only enjoy the 'brilliant' intellectual life in Australia if one has a room-temperature IQ (one enjoys life more if one is amongst equals).

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Happy

Permanent Residence

It's pretty straightforward to get permanent residence (a 175 / 176 visa) if you're in IT. The process will take a year, cost two or three thousand quid, but is generally pretty straightforward.

If you can follow instructions then you don't necessarily need to hire an immigration agent either, which is another big saving. :)

From what I've heard, I'd agree with the characterisation that the east coast is suffering, whilst the resources sector is booming. In fact, a friend reckons the state of Victoria is already in a recession. The trouble is that most of the IT work is in Sydney and Melbourne.

At the current exchange rates, contract rates seem to be on a par with London (most are $600 to $900 per day, about £400 to £600), permanent salaries are a touch higher. Living costs are higher, and some things, such as cars, are eye-watering.

Housing is also really expensive. Melbourne is on a par with London, whereas Sydney is completely bonkers. Prices have started to slide, by around 5% in the last year. If this is the start of a bubble bursting, then the Australian economy could be in for a rough ride as a large proportion of the population has significant mortgage debt, or even loss-making investment properties.

I'm tempted to head over there later this year, though probably as a temporary (6 to 12 months) stint.

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Re: Permanent Residence

Australia is also pretty efficient at processing applications.

We have one customer in the mining business that moved it's tech R&D centre from Canada to OZ because Canada was taking 5+ years to process permanent residency applications, then 3+years before you can apply for citizenship which is then taking a further 2years to process. And every new government throws out the entire application backlog and changes the rules.

Oz was a few months for the visa then IIRC 1year residency before you can apply for citizenship.

The downside they mentioned was that although N.America / UK workers were welcomed other nationalities had a bit more trouble being accepted.

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Forgotten downside

You forgot about all the animals there that are DEADLY. Half the world's venomous creatures live in Australia.

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FAIL

Re: Forgotten downside

Half? Pfft don't be insulting, it's at least 4/5ths.

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Re: Forgotten downside

Yes but all of them in Canberra. Parliment house is where you find the really venemous creatures.

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Anonymous Coward

know thy natives

Australia is a great country, but as a foreigner there are aspects of Aussie culture that can take one unawares. While Aussies love to pay homage to their frontier past and are generally more gregarious and easy-going that the average Brit, even in a fact-based field like IT there is a tendency to avoid confrontation and deal with tricky matters via "back channels". This can be frustrating if you are used to having a vigorous debate on the technical merits of a proposed solution.

Even though it is an English-speaking country (more or less!) you *will* experience culture shock so it is wise to swot up on the local culture so you know where they're coming from.

But looking on the bright side, an English "heatwave" is simply called "winter" in Brisbane.

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Unhappy

Re: know thy natives

odd. At my workplaces technical decisions were made by a beancounter on another continent who did not know or care about IT. Robust debate could happen if the local architect was human, not a process droid, not that it made any difference.

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Anonymous Coward

If your young ...

... go for it!

My folks dragged the family off to South Africa when I was eight - it was mid-seventies and blighty was in a state probably worse than now. My dad was a skilled draughtsman/engineer.

I ended up living there for 25 years. Ironically, I came back home to find work in the IT sector, as South Africa was really backward on that score.

If your single, or a young couple and feel stuck in a rut, just do it - life changing experiences don't come along often and believe me, when you hit your 40s it gets harder and harder to do something as challenging as moving to a new country.

Again, ironically enough, for me it was the other way around - coming to London after 25 years away from home.

Whatever you do, if you do go, don't badmouth this country - we've got a lot going for us, even though it may not seem so. That's probably one of the best reasons to live and work in another country for a few years - you suddenly appreciate that life isn't greener on the other side, just different.

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Old-Timers need not apply

In this day and age of skilled workers living and working longer, the Aussies have a 'Need Not Apply' sign up for those older than 49. Guess I'll take my awesome virtualization skills elsewhere, MATE!

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Unhappy

Re: Old-Timers need not apply

Part of it is we're suffering from the same "Baby Boom" population problem the rest of the western world is suffering from, and they are nearing retirement, and it's going to put a massive strain on our pension system.

It's unfortunate you're caught up in it, but the last thing the government wants is older people coming in, working a few years, getting citizenship, then claiming the old age pension they would be entitled too.

Yeah it sucks, but what could they do?

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Re: Old-Timers need not apply

I see your point, which is why a limited visa should be available. I would love to work there for a year or two, see the country, then come back home. Been all over N and S America and Europe. Would have been a nice adddition.

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FAIL

Re: Old-Timers need not apply

True. Turn 40 and you become invisible, even to motorcycle outlets where the midlife crisis customers are the best customers. Turn 60 and no employer wants you even though they winge to the government about the need for more skilled labour. This while the excuse for a national gov is busy making education more expensive and lecturing the oldies about working until they drop. The state schools are excellent places to train your kids to be devout materialists if that that's what turns you on. Literacy might be a bit dodgy though.

BTW, all previous commentards forgot the hoop snakes that chase you down hills. Did I mention Aus snakes are the most venomous in the world ? And our spiders do well in the horror stakes. The flesh rotting ones in eastern states are world beaters. The Queensland irukandji jelly fish make the bigger stingers like Portugese Man o' War look anemic. Perth is not boring either, unless you need the nightly shootings that Sydney has. Perth provides as many drugs, drunken hell holes and brothels as any other big city. It does have a working rail system, unlike any other Oz city. However most jobs are in the north west, not Perth. There is this strange belief Perth is isolated, so the bigger companies are run from third world countries like the USA, via a PHB colony in Sydney so expect enlightened management, not.

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Re: Old-Timers need not apply

Go to New Zealand they have a limit of 55. Once you have an NZ passport you have defacto Australian citizenship.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Old-Timers need not apply

Bzzzt....wrong

NZ is the most boring place on the planet....seriously. The cost of living is appalling, the housing is shocking, the pubs are crap and the wages are terrible.

By NZ passport, you mean "obtain NZ Citizenship". That means 5 years solid in the land of the long white yawn. After that, you may reside and work in Australia on a Special Character Visa. At no point does this mean you automatically gain Aussie citizenship nor have most of the benefits that Australian's have such as unemployment or sickness benefit. Fail to be a good little citizen and they'll kick you straight back to New Zealand.

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Re: Old-Timers need not apply

Yip. Sure is some ageism going on there.

Plus don't forget there's the competition from all the third world body-shoppers and intra-company transfers, and financially things just don't stack up.

Super country to visit though !

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Consider Canada too

If you are looking to work abroad, Canada has a growing IT sector, and several skilled worker programs too (at federal and provincial levels).

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Bulls**t

Don't believe the marketing hype. Australia may have avoided the GFC thanks to a commodity boom its economy is on the verge of tanking. You only have to look at the economic figures for the last 6 months to see it. Sure, economic growth is around 3% - but look further and you'll see the last two quarterly GDP figures have both come in under expectations. The last reported jobless figures were, again, worse than expected. Property prices are declining and have been doing for about 12 months. The RBA recently cut its cash rate by 0.5% in an effort to 'soften the landing' and it has yet to be seen if this will do anything given that China's economy is slowing (China has been the #1 export market for Australia during this recent commodity boom).

But don't take my word for it. Just do your own homework and you'll see it's not as good as Recruitment Agents like to tell you... and have you ever really trusted what an Agent says?

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You know when there's a property bubble...

...when the Irish turn up.

A lot of local coverage has echoes of Ireland circa 2006, shortly before things went very pear-shaped.

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Anonymous Coward

As Quentin Crisp once said to people in the uk.

"Pack now, you can be on the first plane out tomorrow".

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Don't bother this is BS

This is total BS, I've just got an IT job after being out of work for 6 months - The first time in my life I've been unemployed for that long, previous was 3 weeks.

East coast Australia is a basket case even in the IT industry. If you can get a job expect to be on a lower salary. The only jobs going are in the mines and don't bother applying unless you have all your machinery operator tickets.

The mining boom has screwed the rest of the country with the high dollar which is causing all the local manufacturers to go belly up.

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Pint

Alternatively, pop over to Switzerland..

As Brit now living in Switzerland for the past 5 years, I'm surprised that this little island in the middle of Europe has also pretty much avoided the recession.

Salaries here are high (starting salary for a basic C# developer is about 120,000 CHF - about £80,000), and depending on which Canton you live in, you'll pay about 10% tax on that.

Everything here is more expensive, and some costs (like health insurance) are compulsory. But, it's clean, safe, and has affordable public transport which would shame the UK.

Geneva & Zurich are both major financial capitals, and there are plenty of English speaking jobs around.

The downside...

Australia has better beaches. We just have lakes.

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Some aussies really hate the brits!

Some friends moved to .au - he was "head hunted" (he is a specialist painter and decorator) while over on hols with his family. While at a BBQ (where else) a friend of the family suggested he contact his boss who was lokking for someone with his skills. The boss was desperate and pretty much hired him on the spot! He went to london spoke to the commision and they confirmed all his worries were unfounded - he was a "very desirable".

The company offered him a senior post on the assumption he would train up new staff etc.

So the family sold up and moved to the land of the barbie!

Then all hell broke loose. When he arrived at the office on Monday he was told that because his qualifications were no longer recognised by .gov.au, He had to start work as an apprentice. No pay for the first year etc. He was quite rightly fuming and checked with .gov.au and they confirmed it even though he had letters stating his qualifications and experience were not only acceptable but "highly desired".

He relations until they could get funds back from the uK for a flight home.

Thankfully they had not transferred thier dosh from selling the Uk house to the land of the crims...

And Micheal and Mary were fastidious about double (and triple) checking everything - the aussies can and do say/write one thing before you leave and then change thier mind after you arrive!

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@Jacqui

"...he was told that because his qualifications were no longer recognised by .gov.au,"

That probably meant he was over qualified. Once, we had a wonderful trades system equal to anywhere in the world, now tradesmen are treated as a joke--uneducated scum. Of course, that's the attitude of Australia's spoilt chattering classes--the boring overpaid latte set that frequents the inner cities and has too much effect on politics.

Australia manufactures stuff-all anymore except hot air. When the mining boom's over heaven help us all.

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Happy

I need to move away

I hope people come back and read the comments on this, I bookmarked it as I want to (.net dev) work in Sydney. The Switzerland comment got me tho. That sounds awesome. 80k for a dev role? You don't need to get back to me actually, I'll research this myself, because I'm on a Welsh wage here of 30k. This would be 45 or so if I was in London (based on colleagues pay whilst working down TVP). Fuuuuck, I need to move. I will move, just.....where?

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